Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pre-Race w/ Tim

Goal:
10 miles with 4-5 x 400M @ 80 w/ 90s rest, 1 mile @ 530-535, 2:30 rest, 4-5 x 400m @ 78

Actual
3 mile warmup
4x400m in 78, 78, 78, 76 (w 72-84s rest)
1 mile in 531 (2:16 rest)
4x400m in 78, 78, 76 75 (w/ 80-87s rest)
3 miles cool down for 10+ miles total

Today’s 5:30AM workout can best be summed up with Tim’s Facebook post:

Speedwork with Caitlin. Very 'unique' motivation. I heard "hurry up old man," the lie of "after these 400s this 535 mile will feel super easy," "you dropping back motivated me to speed up even more" and my personal favorite "don't pass out cause you're way too heavy for me to pick up and move”

While the above makes me look like an arrogant POS, I promise that Tim enjoyed every second of this workout.  We really pushed each other on the 400s and I definitely ran faster because Tim was there.  I feel really fast and strong going into Cooper River.  Now I’m just hoping that the win cooperates some!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week in Review and a Blog Nomination

60 Miles
1 Workout
10 mile MLR
12.5M Long Run + Workout
1 Blog Nomination

This week in running was the beginning of my taper for the Cooper River 10k.  Everything of importance is recapped in the workout posts, so I’ll focus on the surprise of this week!

Miraculously, other people (besides my parents and Meagan Nedlo) read my blog.  Shocker, I know.

I was nominated for Salty Running’s Greatest Women’s Running Blog by an anonymous fan.  Admittedly, I do not have time to frequent many running blogs besides Meagan’s, but I had been on Salty Running’s page before when they wrote an article on Alana Hadley last summer.  They seem to have a great page that promotes women’s running.  Thanks Salty for creating this awesome competition!

So, somehow someone told Salty about my blog, and viola, the underdog blog was in!  Paul Mainwaring found my nomination in the first round and sent it to me via a FaceBook message.  Needless to say, I should probably pay Paul for the recent agent services he’s provided as he promoted the first round vote via the Charlotte Running Club’s private “Seven Minute Milers” FB group.  I’m very humbled by the support for my blog...which features a writing style that I describe as very factual, frank and to-the-point.  I hope that I can continue to provide motivation to those post-collegiate runners out there who aspire to better their college PRs.  It is completely possible!

Next year, I hope to nominate Meagan’s blog so she can compete.  I am very shocked that Meagan Nedlo was not on the list because her blog offers wit, sarcasm and fun in every single post.  Heck, there is even another blogger out there that steals paragraphs from Meagan’s blog and makes a few wordsmith changes and pastes into her own blog posts.  I guess plagiarism is a form of flattery?  Stay tuned for results!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

2 x Broken-Two-Mile

Goal:
2 x 2m via 550-600 pace through 1.5 miles, then fast (245 or faster) last 1/2 mile. 3:00-4:00 jog between. If no worse for the wear after, then prior to cooldown do 6-8 x ~100m strides at a fast but controlled effort (e.g. anywhere from mile to 3k race pace).

Actual:
4 mile warmup in 30:00
2x2 mile at 11:23 - 550, 533 (2:48/2:44), 3:21 jog rest, 11:12 - 539, 533 (2:51/2:42)
4 mile cool down in 29:00 with 6x ~100m stride for 12.5 miles total

It’s always a huge confidence booster to nail the workout one week prior to a goal race!  Around 8AM on Saturday, I headed out the door to meet Phil and Eric at the Speed Loop for some two mile repeats with a faster last half mile.  I knew that this workout would be mostly solo after the first mile since I had prescribed a different workout for Eric as he preps for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.  Sure enough, after 1 mile into my first set, I felt really good and was already a couple steps ahead of Eric.  I barreled ahead, with my own will and determination propelling me forward.  I pushed through a little too hard on that last mile, but my legs felt absolutely great. During my jog rest, I mentally prepared to ensure the same speed was maintained in the second set.

Fortunately for me, I did just that and came through 1.5 miles in a solid 5:40 pace and picked it up to a 2:42 last half mile.  I was really thrilled to hit these paces without much effort.  Especially after such a dismal mid-week workout, I was happy I didn’t have any stomach issues on this one.  I’ve really enjoyed the workouts that Terry has given me over the past couple of weeks.  They’ve really zoned in on my goal 10k pace (5:30-5:35) and have allowed me to come out feeling strong and confident for Cooper River in just 7 days.

After the workout, I hopped in the car for a quick day trip to Durham to make our final decision on housing.  Within 8 hours, I saw two houses, ate lunch with my in-laws and determined that the carriage house truly is the perfect fit for Garrett and me to live in during our time in Durham.  Basically, we will live in Hope Valley Country Club, which is nestled only half a mile from established greenways, but also filled with several road loops that I’m sure I can turn into my own new “Speed Loop.”  I am excited!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workout Success + Fail

Goal
3x1k @ 3:20-24 with 2:30 rest
2k @ 535-530, 3:30 rest
3x1k @ 3:20-24 with 2:30 rest

Actual:
2.5M mile warmup
3x1k in 3:23, 3:21, 3:03 (stopped early for pit stop)
3:30 rest
2k in 5:36/1:2, 3:30 rest
3x1k in 3:24, 3:24, 1:20 for 400m (all w 2:30 rest)

Put simply, I had stomach problems in today’s workout.  In the early morning hours on the speed loop with Eric and David, I started off feeling great in the first two intervals and then things began to very quickly unravel.  At first I was pushing the pace on the first two and after that I was barely surviving...not because I was tired, but because I couldn’t control that I had caught some sort of mini stomach bug (which I didn’t realize until after the workout).  That being said, I’m actually pretty happy about the splits I was able to hit.  Obviously I would have preferred to run faster for the last set of 1k’s but that just wasn’t in the cards for me today. A mini stomach bug is going around work, so I think that I caught that and worked from home the rest of the day.  Sometimes you just can’t control everything!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week in Review

70 Miles
12M MLR
200m on off wave workout
5k Burrito race in 18:20 with 2:05 burrito split
16 mile easy long run

I only have three more months in Charlotte, so I am making the most of it by hanging out with my friends as much as possible.  After a fun road trip to Columbia with Adrienne and Nick, I enjoyed an easy pace 16 miles with ten people before having breakfast at John Fillette’s house for our weekly runners' brunch. Always the highlight of my week, we get to sit around in our stinky, sweaty running clothes and stuff our faces with lots of yummy breakfast foods.  It’s the best ever!

Garrett and I are getting very close to making our final decision on housing in Durham, and after that is checked off the list, I think that my stress level will decrease dramatically. I can’t help but get anxious about not knowing where I’ll be living in this new city, so I’m excited to get all of the planning for the move completed so I can focus on just having fun and enjoying my friends before we have to leave this wonderful city!

Cooper River is in just two weeks and I am already excited about competing in this race with Meagan at my side, but also for the debauchery that is to happen afterwards with Michelle, Dalena, Danielle, Sommer, Adrienne, Nick and Matt.  Most of my friends already know this, but I very rarely drink (and by rarely I mean less than three times a year).  This may be one of those fun weekends where I do participate in one of America’s favorite pastimes and I am so looking forward to it!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Moe’s Burrito Dash

Goal:
Win $1000

Actual:
$1000
3 miles warmup easy
5k (ish?) race in 18:20 with 2:05 burrito split
3 miles cool down for 9 miles total
Cool video recap here

In the last 3 years, I have won a total of $4000 at the Moe’s Burrito Dash.  I am very lucky to live close to Columbia, SC, a town that really supports sub-elite runners like myself.  I love how the Moe’s team here has built up a unique race that forces us to go outside of comfort zone and stomach a burrito in the middle of a 5k race.

This year the awesome race director decided to distribute the wealth:  he reduced the prizes for the top three overall (from $2k for the W to $1k for the W) and provided $100 cash to the age group winners.  I told him afterwards that I loved how he did that and he told me that he wanted to provide incentive for all levels of runners to come out and enjoy a burrito in the middle of a race.

Since my friend Nick won his age group, I saw firsthand how great it made him feel.  When he got his check, his smile was so big and he said giddily: “Something like this has never happened to me before!”  That moment itself was absolutely priceless.
Nick’s SnapChat to his friends
So - about the race itself.  I left my house at 6:40AM with Adrienne and Nick in my car and we made the short trip to Columbia in no time.  We registered for the race and I scoped out the competition...At that point I hadn’t seen any familiar faces from the years past (2012 and 2013) and I was feeling hopeful about my chances of success.  

After a relaxed warmup with Nick and Adrienne, some solo strides and drills, Nick and I toed the line together, ready for the burrito.  At this point, I had scoped out two women who run in Columbia, SC. I recognized one of them (Kenzie) from the Heart and Sole Women’s 5 Miler and I introduced myself to the other (Caroline).  I discovered that she ran at Arkansas when I was at Wake.  She is on her own journey to achieving PRs in the post-collegiate race setting, so it was fun to chat with her and tell her that it’s totally possible!

My strategy to get the win was to go out as hard as possible so I could have a good cushion coming into the burrito eating competition.   At the start line, I knew that my race strategy was still the right way to approach the race.  The gun went off, and a pack of all the elite men took off, leaving a large gap between them and me.  Corey Tretskey realized he went out too fast and after 800 meters had conveniently tucked himself in behind me, making me do all the work.  Since I was all pissed that he was totally drafting off me, I completely forgot to catch the first mile split. 
The start
Corey and I both came into the burrito stand at the exact same time and he went to the right as I went to the left.  I started walking as soon as I entered.  I grabbed a burrito, unwrapped it and began taking bites while simultaneously walking down the line to grab a water bottle and then finally ending at the judge’s station.  Adrienne was there taking some pics and offering some nice words of wisdom :“Caitlin, remember your strategy!” while I stood there, taking the race entirely too seriously and stealing furtive glances towards the stand to see where my closest female competitor was…all while scarfing down the burrito.  I gagged once, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as last  year when I was rushing because Laurie finished her burrito in like 45 seconds.  The two Columbia girls came in when I had just two bites left, so I calmed down a bit. 

However, I caught Corey stealing a glance at what remained of my burrito and he knew he was out to beat me.  This made me mad and excessively competitive again, and I watched as he took off when I still had one more bite to go.  I finally finished, about ten seconds later, and yelled “welcome to moe’s” and took off in a mad sprint.  I spit out a couple leftover bits of rice and beans as I exited the eating station and hoped I wouldn’t throw up.  

The next 1.5 miles were not as miserable as I thought they would be.  I actually felt pretty darn good and had a feeling that the win was in the bag, so as I rounded the final straightway into the finish, I let up a little.  I stopped trying to catch Corey and I started to feel a little vomit come up.  I really didn’t want to throw up across the finish line like last year.  I normally would not let up in the final 100m of a 5k race, but vomiting is never fun, even if you win $1000 in the process. I crossed the finish line and did not puke - SUCCESS!

The next two girls came in sprinting against each other around 20:00 and it was really fun to see them battle it out as friends and training partners.  Nick came through just a couple minutes later, looking fresh. 

Afterwards, we got in 3 miles of cool down and Nick convinced himself that since his mouth is so big, he obviously had a faster burrito split than me, even though he didn’t time it.  He probably did eat the burrito faster than me.

For the third year in a row, I had an absolutely blast at this race and met some new ladies in the process.  I was extremely happy that Adrienne and Nick came because eating a burrito without an audience just isn’t as fun.  Adrienne got to see both Nick and I chomp away at our burritos and had fun comparing our strategies (namely, my serious demeanor versus Nick’s laid back, fun approach).  I’ll probably drive all the way from Durham to do this for the fourth time in a row next year, assuming I don’t have any Duke MBA commitments. :)

Adrienne, me and Nick post-race

Thursday, March 20, 2014

200m Wave with Aaron

Goal:
3-4 miles of 200m on / off @ 40s / 50s

Actual:
5.8 miles warmup
3 miles @ 52-51 / 42-41 in 18:36 total
3 miles cool down in 23:30

This was little mini workout to get the legs moving again after the half marathon and before the Moe’s Burrito Dash.  At 5:30AM, Aaron and I ran around uptown for a bit with a large group of Laurie, Ashley, and Phil before heading down to the JCSU track.  It was still dark, so I decided to just run the 200s based on feel and not look at splits. It would have been a total pain in the butt anyways to check out my splits every 200m because I would have had to turn on my indiglo.  Turns out that I didn’t quite hit the times that Terry had prescribed, but I wasn’t that far off. It was tons of fun to run with Aaron because I hadn’t worked out with him in quite some time. He’s always so energetic and it was great to catch up with him.  We talked the entire time and I walked off the blue JCSU track feeling accomplished and excited about the third Annual Moe’s Burrito Dash 5k.